UN's antifreedom agenda for Islam

Washington Times Editorial:

Will the United Nations soon be issuing fatwas? Today the U.N. Human Rights Council is expected to vote on a resolution introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to combat defamation of religion, in particular Islam. This resolution is part of an effort begun in 1999 to establish an international framework that would in practice legitimize religious oppression. It is an assault on the rights of the individual and freedom of conscience.

The language of the resolution seems benign enough, condemning stereotyping, inflammatory statements and so forth. But very troubling is the elasticity of the term "defamation." It is used to silence social critics and other liberal voices in countries where the law is captive of the official religion. "Anti-blasphemy" statutes in Shariah-based legal systems squelch debate over the rights of women, the right to free speech and expression, privacy, criminal justice and a variety of other off-limits issues. This U.N. resolution would give further international sanction to every authoritarian regime that hides its oppression behind the veil of faith.

The OIC also plans to introduce binding resolutions that will require states to punish religious defamers. In practice this could target almost anyone with an opinion. Recent experience has shown that, particularly in the Muslim world, almost any comment can be tarred as defamatory and incite fatal violence. Publication of caricatures of Mohammed in the Danish Jyllands-Poste in 2005 sparked riots. Salman Rushdie was threatened with death for discussing irregularities in the history of the Koran in his novel . There were even protests in 1963 when U.S. Ambassador to India John Kenneth Galbraith named his family cat "Ahmed," one of the forms of the name "Mohammed."

...

This is in fact an admission of how fragile the Muslim faith must be that it cannot tolerate any dissent or criticism. If it were the strong faith that proponents claim criticism of Islam would just roll off the racks of its followers. Instead they are required to throw tantrums if they beleive there has been the slightest insult to their beliefs. In Muslim societies this doctrine actually prohibits the teaching of Christianity or other religions. That is what the proponents of this monstrosity would like to do. I beleive people should be free to challenge Islam with critical speech. We should reject this anti freedom agenda at the UN.

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